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2006-04-03 SEA-001
Southeastern

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Flying start for new Integrated Kent franchise


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Southeastern

Flying start for new Integrated Kent franchise
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date
3 April 2006
source Southeastern
type Press release



Govia today got its new Integrated Kent Franchise off to a flying start by unveiling its plan to name the first new high-speed train after the double gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes.Dame Kelly Holmes

The franchise, called Southeastern, commenced on April 1 and runs until March 31 2012 for six years, with an automatic two-year extension if performance targets are met. It covers existing services in Kent, south east London and parts of East Sussex and the new high speed services set to run over the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in Kent and London from December 2009.

Speaking at the launch, which was attended by Dame Kelly Holmes who hails from Kent, Chris Moyes, chief executive of Govia’s co-owner the Go-Ahead Group said:

“The franchise is good news for passengers. It represents an opportunity to revitalise the railway in this part of the UK, to contribute to the growth that Kent is set to experience over the next ten years and deliver a growing railway for a growing region. Southeastern will be passenger focused; it will be a safe, reliable and efficient railway and result in continuous improvement in customer satisfaction.”

Key commitments include:

o £17.6 million to install modern CCTV on the entire train fleet
o £5.5million for better passenger information systems
o Improved station security with additional CCTV and help points
o £3million for new and upgraded ticket machines
o Targets to remove graffiti from trains and stations within 24 hours
o Improvement in the number of trains arriving within five minutes of their scheduled time – from 87.35 per cent in 2007 to 93.74 per cent in 2014 (15 out of 16 services).

New services are planned from December 2006 aimed at easing crowding and meeting increased demand. The timetable for December 2007 will be reworked to improve performance around London Bridge which is a congested part of the railway.

The franchise includes the operation of the new high speed domestic services over the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) from 2009. Hitachi-built trains, designed for both the CTRL and conventional railway lines will operate the service which will bring greatly improved journey times in parts of Kent – for example, London to Ashford will be reduced from 83 minutes to 36.5 minutes.

Chris Moyes said:

“We are very excited at the prospect of operating the new high speed domestic services over the CTRL from 2009. Uniquely among UK train operators we have a comprehensive partnership agreement with SNCF, the French national railway company and the world leaders in all aspects of high speed rail technology and services. They will provide continuous support with the planning and introduction of the new service.”

Southeastern will use the new trains to operate the javelin Shuttle Service to the 2012 London Olympic Games centre at Stratford, East London.

Mr Moyes added:

“We are delighted that Dame Kelly Holmes has agreed to lend her name to the first high speed train. We will aim to name each of the 28 six-car trains after a British individual who has made their mark through their reputation for speed. We hope to announce further names over the coming months.”

Michel Bleitrach,Chief Executive Officer of Keolis, co-shareholder of Govia, said: “The whole Keolis teamis focused on the success of the new Southeastern franchise and of its high speed element. Thus we want tomaterialise the Olympic Games slogan "citius, altius, fortius" and prove that public transport can be attractive, secure and efficient."

Southeastern’s new managing director is Charles Horton, the former managing director of Southern, Govia’s other rail operation. Vince Lucas, also formerly of Southern, is the new commercial director and Mike Hodson, former managing director of Thames Trains is the operations and safety director.

Other key roles at the new operator include Wilma Allan, finance and contracts director. Wilma joins Southeastern from Thameslink Rail where she was finance and commercial director. Phil Verster, engineering director at South East Trains since December 2003 remains as engineering director. The programme director for the new CTRL domestic service will be appointed shortly.

Keith Ludeman continues as chief executive of Govia, with overall responsibility for Southeastern and Southern.


Railhub Archive ::: 2006-04-03 SEA-001





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